Backpack Ergonomics

Getting the right backpack makes a big difference

When we think about ergonomics, many of us think about chairs and tables. We don’t necessarily think about backpacks, but these make a huge difference in the ergonomics of a child. The backpack can easily influence the child’s posture and back more than anything else. Here are some important suggestions for your child’s backpack:

The straps on the pack should be wide and padded.

Add a waist belt to the backpack if your child tends to carry a lot of weight.

Make sure both straps are actually worn because this will distribute the weight.

If you have a backpack that has a number of compartments, this can better distribute the weight. Put the heavier items closer to the back and make sure that any pointy or bulky items aren’t resting against the back.

The backpack should hang below the shoulders and rest on the hips and pelvis.
Try to encourage your child to leave some things at home or at school. There is no reason to carry everything that you own in your backpack.

Encourage the school to give your children two sets up textbooks so that one can be left at school and one can be used at home. This will keep them from carrying very heavy items back and forth.